Venezuelan Government Artificially Raises Its Petro’s Price to $150

The Venezuelan Government has repriced its national cryptocurrency, the Petro, from 3,600 to 9,000 sovereign bolívars ($150). The new price was put in place this week, according to local news outlets, and had been previously announced by the country's president, Nicolás Maduro.

In the midst of the country’s worst economic depression, Nicolás Maduro is taking several monetary and economic measures as part of the country’s Recovery, Growth and Economic Prosperity Program.  

In addition to the significant increase in the Petro’s value, the president also established the minimum wage at 4,500 sovereign bolívars ($75). The decision took effect on December 1 and represents a 150% increase in the minimum wage.

It was also announced that the bolívar fuerte will stop circulating by December 5. The sovereign bolívar, a fiat currency tied to the oil-backed cryptocurrency that created back in August as a means to combat hyperinflation, will replace the old bolívar completely.

Venezuela's Petro

Petro is the first national cryptocurrency and it is backed by Venezuelan oil and precious mineral reserves. As reported by CryptoGlobe, the official sale of the Petro started on November 1. However, no one has been able to use the cryptocurrency yet. There are no official wallets available, and those who decided to purchase it were given certificates of ownership.

Due to a lack of information on the progress of the project, no one knows what is the cryptocurrency's current stage of development. There have also been several inconsistencies in its whitepaper, the last one regarding the number of blocks, as well as accusations that it is a clone of the Dash whitepaper.  

Leonardo Buniak, a renowned Venezuelan economist, argued that the increase of Petro’s value has caused the sovereign bolívar to be devalued more than 100%. He further stated that Petro is not a cryptocurrency, but rather a debt title:

"When the president decrees that the petro is worth 9 thousand bolívares what he is saying is that the petro is not a cryptocurrency, but a debt title, pre-mined. It is impossible to think that it is a cryptocurrency when the value is not given by the supply and demand."